Through the collaborative efforts of composers, educators and designers the vision of bringing Mr. Rhythm Musical Plays to life was fulfilled. And because of the availability of the Internet, this musical education program is now accessible to people throughout the world that can enjoy the benefits of Mr. Rhythm Musical Plays. We would like to honor a special group of Key Contributors that helped to make this dream come true.
Jean Clark Laube was a pioneer in the development of early childhood education. A graduate of The Ohio State University, Jean owned and operated one of the first preschools in the state of Connecticut. Believing in the importance of tailoring the classroom to fit each child’s needs, Jean created an environment that allowed every child to thrive with crafts, stories, playtime, dance, foreign language, reading readiness and most importantly her frequent parent’s day performances.
Appropriate material was unavailable for these parent’s day performances and so Jean wrote the music and scripts for ten plays, created around a seasonal theme, event or location. As she always did in her preschool, Jean’s music and plays encouraged movement and imagination. Paired with easy choreography, this allowed children to explore new worlds and was fun for all.
Jean’s lifelong goal was to make these musical plays available to teachers and children around the world. In order to bring her Mother’s vision to fruition, Kay Laube Benson channeled her creative energy from years of work as a professional photographer and produced Mr. Rhythm Musical Plays. Kay received her BFA, Photography degree from Northern Michigan University. Her credits include over 20 years of commercial photography in Chicago and around the nation, and she was the contributing photographer for “Winnetka Architecture, where past is present” by Cynthia D. Fuller.
Growing up in a home filled with music, Kay understood her Mother’s passion. She describes the process as “The best gift my Mother gave me was sharing the positive and enriching environment these musical journeys create. I will always be very appreciative for the many wonderful hours we spent together on this project. This time together was filled with mutual respect, admiration, and just plain fun.”
The Music of Mr. Rhythm Musical Plays was directed and recorded by Emmy award winning composer Gary Fry of Northbrook Illinois. Gary wrote new songs that were both in keeping with the original music and necessary to finish several of the plays. Gary’s experience spans almost every aspect of the music business. From arranging and composing to production and direction, his industry expertise is widely recognized. He has done work with the Chicago and Dallas Symphony Orchestras as well as over 20 years in commercial music production in radio and television for some of the nation’s largest companies. Gary has a passion for working with young people and children’s music has a special emphasis in his company, High Touch Music. In addition to producing the music for Mr. Rhythm Productions, he has composed, arranged and produced albums for Kid Rhino and Warner Kids record labels. Gary’s music can be heard daily on the Cartoon Network program, Baby Looney Tunes.
The creators of Mr. Rhythm share a commitment to making these programs available to children of all abilities. They enlisted the help of Claire M. Halloran, MA, CCC-SLP of Chicago Illinois to develop classroom-friendly adaptations that honor the unique developmental profiles of special needs children to foster their full participation in the Mr. Rhythm classroom programs. Claire is a speech-language pathologist who has worked with young children and their families for over 25 years in home, community, preschool, Head Start, daycare, and clinic settings. Claire holds a Masters in Speech-Language Pathology from George Washington University and a Post-Graduate Certificate in Infant Mental Health from The Erikson Institute. Claire received her undergraduate degree in History from the College of The Holy Cross.